Turbo for a Grand – 1978 Saab 99 Turbo

Frequent readers might know that early turbocharged cars are popular here. Sure, they’re not as refined as a modern turbo, where you get a nearly smooth flow of power like, say, an older six-cylinder, but that’s part of the fun for a true car nut – the car is transparent about what it’s doing and when it’s doing it. So sure, you get crazy wheel-spinning turbo boost at 3000rpm, and you have to hang on for dear life in the rain, but that’s why you should be going to the gym and working those forearms. And if you’re not, maybe you can look at this as exercise. So to improve your physical fitness, why not take a look at this 1978 Saab 99 Turbo for sale for $1000 in Castle Rock, WA.

1978 Saab 99 Turbo 2 left front

So it doesn’t look like it’s been forcing anybody to work their arms out lately – while the seller doesn’t say the engine is not running, the clutch pressure plate is sticking, one of the two cooling fans is resting (not dead), the ignition (switch?) is frozen, the voltage regulator has failed, and the brakes need repair. But you know, for a car for a grand that’s evidently been sitting for a while, that’s not such a bad list. You should probably be planning on brake and electrical maintenance just to have the car be somewhat usable again.

1978 Saab 99 Turbo 2 right front

The body looks pretty straight, aside from a dent at the left rear corner and what seems to be damage from the door being opened too far. Cosmetics likely need some help, but you still get those awesome SAAB TURBO rocker stickers and the cool TURBO badges. Old green/white Washington plates suggest a longtime presence there, and probably many years off the road. It is now possible to register historic/antique cars with vintage plates in Washington, so those of you up there who feel left out of the black/blue-plate phenomenon, here’s your opportunity to get in on the game. The seller is threatening to scrap the car, so perhaps you could work him down a little further to save him the inconvenience of arranging that.

1978 Saab 99 Turbo 2 interior

The interior has seat covers hiding the awesome seats and deep red upholstery. Perhaps there’s not much of that left, but anything (even junkyard 900 seats) is better than gray seat covers. It still sports its original Turbo wheel – pretty gool even if this isn’t the three-spoke sport wheel. Is that the dash surface warping upwards at the base of the windshield?

1978 Saab 99 Turbo 2 rear

This rear view is consistent with the rest of the car, and seems to be missing the TURBO badge that lets you know what just blew you away. Unfortunately, the seller has chosen not to show one of the most critical parts – the engine – but at least you can fantasize about the massive space under the hatch. Forget hauling bodies in an old Lincoln, if you’re in the Mafia, you want one of these. But maybe liking old turbo cars is enough of an excuse.

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One Response to “Turbo for a Grand – 1978 Saab 99 Turbo”

  1. steve in podunk Says:

    I had an 89 900 Turbo convertible with an auto some years ago; the turbo lag was terrible and it was a dog at under 30mph(I called the dealer because I thought there was something wrong with it)but once ya’ hit 30mph it would pin you to your seat.

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